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Posts Tagged ‘wedding’

  1. Living a champagne lifestyle

    July 28, 2009 by superlative

    Amazingly, it has now been a whole year since I got married. I don’t know where the time has gone, it has just flown by. Saturday was our actual wedding anniversary, and we had a couple of nice things planned over the weekend which made it nice and special.

    Our wine rack has been half full for the last year with bottles of champagne we were given as wedding presents (about five of them I think), and recently we were told that champage doesn’t always stay at its best for more than a year or so. We therefore felt we had an obligation to start drinking it up, which in reality turned into us drinking four bottles of champagne in six days. It was actually really nice to do, as expensive champagne tastes very nice and is much better than the cheap stuff, and I was surprised to find how well it goes with a dinner of fish fingers, chips and beans. It is certainly a combination that I would try again.
    On Friday we had a wedding reception to go to in the evening, for a couple who had attended our wedding last year. It was out on Pangdean Farm in Pyecombe, a very nice country venue with a converted barn with lots of wooden beams. I was particularly impressed with the unusual choice of wedding cake decoration:

    and the bride’s beautiful sort-of-French-style wedding dress that was made by her very talented mother:

    A few friends of ours were there too, so we had a nice evening of dancing and feeling nostalgic about our own wedding.
    Then on Saturday, our actual anniversary, we went for a lovely meal at Blanch House, a posh restaurant in Kemptown not very far from us. We’d never go there normally, it’s a bit out of our usual price range, but Chris’ Mum was treating us, and it was GREAT! It was lots of high class masterchef-type food like this:

    and it was ever so yummy. It was also rather alcohol-fuelled, as we had champagne before we went, and then cocktails on arrival, and wine with dinner. It was all a bit of a blur by dessert I have to say, so we took a short detour home afterwards to sober up a little bit, and sat looking at our wedding photos together and feeling a bit gooey (that may have been the fault of the alcohol again though). And then we just had a couple more drinks in Vavoom before retiring for the evening.
    I was pleased to find that I didn’t have a hangover at all on Sunday, which I am going to attribute as well to the champagne being expensive, and to the six million calories I ate to soak it all up.
    So that was it – one anniversary down, and only 49 more until our golden one. Hopefully they will all be as enjoyable as this one was (and I won’t forget any of them, which is a very real possibility).
    I’m back at work today, but am only doing three-day weeks through the summer, so hurrah only two days left until the weekend! It is Brighton Pride this weekend, and they are forecasting heavy rain for Saturday. Oh dear. Pride is really quite depressing and pointless in the rain, as it is meant to be a day of drinking in the sun and looking at topless boys (a microcosm of my entire life, in fact). If it rains like they’re saying it will, I may not even bother going to the park during the day – I have mud at home I can squelch around in if I wish. And besides, I’ll have more champagne to drink up.

  2. San Francisco

    August 27, 2008 by superlative

    Hmm, I’m not doing too well at catching up on this blog thing am I? I must try to power through, I’m only… erm… three and a half weeks behind. Damn it!

    Anyway, off we flew to San Francisco, where we were staying at the second of my Trip Advisor-recommended hotels, the Chancellor on Union Square. It was lovely, I’m so glad I picked it! Although it is officially three star, it is actually really bloody good for three stars – marble floors in the reception, staff all dressed up in nice uniforms, little gold carts for putting your luggage in, etc etc. We were up on the twelfth floor which meant we had fantastic views over Union Square towards Macy’s. I had repeated my “it’s our honeymoon” casual commenting technique when I emailed the hotel about the booking, and this time it actually paid off – the man on reception congratulated us when we checked in, and we had a bottle of champagne and a present (a picture frame) waiting for us in the room. Which started me thinking you should probably always say you’re on your honeymoon whenever you go abroad anywhere, just to see what you get…

    Anyway, San Francisco was lovely, and so much nicer than New York. New York is definitely more buzzy, with more going on and more to see, and it’s a very exciting place to be because you know it so well from the telly, but in terms of actual niceness San Francisco wins hands down. It was cleaner, less rushed, more spacious, and generally prettier. The only thing that would have made it nicer would have been for it to be a bit warmer – we only had one day of proper sun, and the rest had high fog blocking out most of the heat so it was really quite cold and you needed a coat on. But frankly after New York it was quite pleasant to be cold, at least for a few days.

    Again, we did lots of touristy things, but it was generally less rushed as we had more time there and there is a bit less to do.

    • On the one sunny day (the first day) we took a walk around Union Square where all the shops are, and then we went to Dolores Beach. Dolores Beach is not in fact a beach, but is instead part of a park, and it is where all the gay boys go on a sunny day to sit around in minimal clothing pretending to read and looking at each other. It was very pleasant, although San Francisco gay guys seemed to be generally older and/or beefier than my normal tastes of twinky blonds, but I’ll take what I can get. I did unfortunately completely underestimate the sun and FRIED my shoulders and back, resulting in a good deal of pain, whinging, and hasty purchasing of after-sun for the rest of the week.
    • We went to loads of shops, but bought relatively little as we’re not that into designer labels anyway. I did buy some nice undies though.
    • We went to Chinatown – MUCH nicer than New York’s, which was a slum.
    • We saw the wiggly Lombard Street, which was thronged with tourists taking photos and must be a nightmare to live on.
    • We went to the Cartoon Art Museum, and fortuitously it was ‘Pay what you like day’ so we paid very little.
    • We took a trip to Alcatraz, which was really interesting, and as it was the evening it was dead atmospheric and spooky.
    • We saw the Golden Gate Bridge, and walked halfway across it before deciding it was too windy and then walking back.
    • We saw Dark Knight (very good) and The Mummy III (not that good) at the cinema.

    We also ate out LOADS and were completely stuffed for the whole week. No wonder Americans are so fat, their portions were ridiculous and we threw away criminal amounts of food and felt really bad. Highlights were the best BEST milkshakes ever in Lori’s Diner, and a fantastic Japanese meal in a tucked away restaurant where we were the only non-Japanese in there.

    We also went to quite a few bars on San Francisco’s legendary gay scene. Again, I wasn’t that impressed really… We visited Harvey’s, Twin Peaks, Midnight Sun, The Mixer, and The Bar. They were generally OK, either a bit empty or hugely overcrowded, and very very few boys worth a second glance. We decided that we’ve been spoiled by living in Brighton about 3 minutes from 9 gay bars where they often play better music and at least some of the people know how to dress properly. I think we had the most fun at The Bar, where it transpired it was Ladies Night, which meant it was full of black and Hispanic lesbians and had great music on, so we danced lots amid the lesbians and I cared not that I was twice the height of most of them.

    And then it was time to come home. I wasn’t sorry really, as I was quite worn out after 10 days of madly photographing everything and trekking around, and I really wanted my own bed and not to eat another calorie for a fortnight.

    The flight home was 10 hours, which was far too long, I couldn’t sleep, and I was pretty exhausted by the time we finally got back, but overall it was a lovely, lovely trip and a marvelous honeymoon. It’s not the kind of holiday we’d ever normally take either, so that made it quite special for us. And my bed was soooo comfortable when I crawled into it and slept for almost a whole weekend…!

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  3. Post-wedding and off to New York

    August 21, 2008 by superlative

    The lovely weather continued the day after the wedding, and as we knew lots of people would still be around we had booked one of the bar/restaurants on the beach for a late lunch. I’m glad we did actually, as it was really nice sitting out there in the sunshine, and it gave an extra opportunity to see some of the people we hadn’t had much time to talk to the night before.

    Mum and Dad left after lunch, having had two OK nights in the hotel but complaining that it had been noisy from the traffic on the road. Ha! They were lucky they had been at the front, the people at the back of the hotel hadn’t had a wink of sleep because of the nightclub outside their window and the roadworks that started at 7am, so they should count their blessings. That was the main drawback of the hotel in the end – it’s location is great in some ways, but it also means it’s very noisy and you can’t park within two miles of it very easily. But you’re not really thinking about those things when you book it 18 months in advance, are you?? And nobody really complained to us, they just got on with it, which is good.

    Sunday was our first day of proper rest and recovery, and we spent a nice couple of hours in the afternoon opening all our cards and presents. Oh. My. God. Everyone was SO generous, and we got given SO much money! We’d said “no presents” to people, because we didn’t really want lots of toasters and we weren’t actually that fussed about getting any presents, but everybody wants to give you something on your wedding day. So they all gave us money instead – a mixture of dollars for the honeymoon, and normal cash. I actually felt a bit guilty about how much we got in end… Well, not that guilty, but you know…

    And on Monday we jetted off to New York! It was terribly exciting to be going somewhere so interesting, and that we’d never been to before. We had thought it might be worth mentioning at the airport when we checked in that it was our honeymoon, on the very slim hope that they might bump us up to first class. Alas, check-in was at an automated kiosk that didn’t have a button for “We’re on our honeymoon”, and the lady at the bag drop looked thoroughly unimpressed when we tried it on her. So we flew normal class, but that was fine as Virgin Atlantic is quite good anyway.

    We arrived late in New York, where we spent the first four nights of our honeymoon. The hotel was lovely, a little converted town house down in Chelsea that I’d found on Trip Advisor. Each room was named after a film star and there were cool movie posters everywhere, which was quite fun. We stayed in the Lee Remick room – I’d never heard of her, but apparently she’s the Mum in The Omen, amongst other things.

    The three days we had in New York were nice: mostly very busy, loads of walking around and doing touristy thing, and it was VERY hot. I think it was about 90 degrees, and it was a sticky humid heat with no wind. The temperature was exacerbated, and possibly caused by, the millions of air conditioning vents that constantly pump hot air out in the street from every building and subway line, so being out in the street generally wasn’t that pleasant. Once you were inside on the good end of an air conditioner of course, it was all fine.

    We did all the tourist things we could fit in in three days, namely:

    • went up the Empire State Building
    • walked around in Times Square and Broadway
    • saw Madison Square Garden (from the outside anyway)
    • saw Grand Central Terminal
    • went to the UN headquarters
    • went to Macy’s
    • walked around Central Park – nice, but just a park really
    • went to the Natural History Museum and saw lots of dinosaurs and gemstones, and touched a REAL 30-tonne meteorite that had been in actual space
    • went up the Rockefeller Center at night
    • took the Staten Island Ferry to Staten Island and back, taking a million photos of the Statue of Liberty on the way
    • saw Ground Zero – just a big building site now
    • walked through Chinatown (quite shabby and horrible actually)
    • rode the subway and caught yellow cabs

    So lots of things really. The best bit was probably going up the Rockefeller Center at night. The views of the city lights were fantastic, you got to see the Empire State Building (which you obviously can’t do when you’re actually on the Empire State Building), and it was lovely and cool up there compared to ground level.

    We also visited a few of the gay bars during the evenings – Sport Bar, Barracuda, View Bar, The Monster, and Pieces. They were… OK. Not amazing, I have to say, but Barracuda and Pieces were both lots of fun. The others were a bit of an older crowd, or were a bit empty, or didn’t have any music on. We saw the best BEST karaoke ever at Barracuda, a girl who sang I’m Every Woman and who was every bit as good as Whitney Houston. And Pieces was fun because they had shag tags and beer pong (that’s a game, not the smell of beer) and good music. They also had a hot barman who had much better dress sense than most Americans, who we sort of tried to flirt with but failed because I’m so bad at flirting.

    And that was New York! Lovely, tiring, hot, and photo-filled. I photographed EVERYTHING I think. On Friday we got the subway to Jamaica (not the real Jamaica, it’s in Queens) and the Air Train to JFK airport, where we spent a couple of hours in the crappiest terminal ever – JFK Terminal 3 is tiny and pathetic, due to it only servicing domestic flights with Delta.

    But that didn’t matter much because then we flew off to San Francisco for the second part of our honeymoon adventure…

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  4. Four weeks later…

    August 19, 2008 by superlative

    God, SO much time has passed and so much has happened since I last wrote on here that it’s almost too daunting to want to start doing it again! But, having blogged the whole of the run-up to the wedding, I can hardly not blog the actual event, now can I? I think I’ll have to try and be fairly frugal though, or we’ll be here all day…

    So I shall try to catch up by doing posts summarising all the wonderful and exhausting things that have happened since 25 July, namely:

    • the wedding
    • New York
    • San Francisco
    • Stuart and Helen’s wedding in Wiltshire
    • The epic adventure to get from Wiltshire to darkest Sweden in 16 hours (while also finding some time in there to sleep) for Rob and Emma’s wedding

    I think that amount of detail is about the most I can manage! And that’ll more or less bring me back up to date. Phew! So let’s start with post number 1…

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  5. Ten, nine, eight…

    July 24, 2008 by superlative

    OK we’re not quite that close, but not far off. It is now 7.45pm the night before my wedding. I can’t BELIEVE it’s tomorrow. Where the hell did it come from?? You plan something for ages and then suddenly WHAM it’s right there. I’ve a feeling it’s going to flash past so fast.

    Mum is down, she got here, which is great. She didn’t think she was going to for a while, and she was hot and flustered and exhausted by the time she arrived, but could be worse. Dad had rubbed her up the wrong way in the morning, but to be honest anything he had done was likely to do that. He doesn’t help himself though, he does do some stupid things sometimes (for example, trying to force her hat box into the cupboard in the hotel by turning it upside down and pushing it hard, when she’s already said “Is my hat still alright?” ten times in half an hour). Anyway, so she’s here, their room wasn’t ready for 20 minutes after their arrival, which is annoying because I was told 2.30 so they arrived at 2.40, but eventually we got them in. They’ve been bumped up to a sea view too, which is great. It’s a bit hot in there, no air conditioning in the rooms, only downstairs, but it’s a nice room.

    So anyway, that’s one big hurdle out of the way, and she’s so pleased to have made it. I’d got as far as having mild chest pains during the morning, I was that worried about it (another of my phantom pleurisy episodes, for those who’ve known me long enough to remember the last lot). I feel better now though.

    Bit scared, can’t believe it’s tomorrow, but looking forward to it, and I know I’ll miss not sleeping in the same bed as Chris tonight.

  6. A much better day

    July 23, 2008 by superlative

    OK, today has been a much better day than yesterday, and I’m feeling a lot more positive. I have done LOADS of wedding stuff, and it is starting to feel like it is all coming together. And so far, nothing I’ve done today has gone wrong or unearthed a problem. I have:

    • checked my suit jacket fits OK – it does
    • got the car ready for going up to Heathrow (washed and full of petrol)
    • polished my smart shoes
    • been into the music shop to check our booking is OK for Friday – it is
    • called New York to check they still have our reserveration – they do, and I had a lovely chat with a man in the hotel about the best way to get there from the airport
    • called San Francisco to check they also still have our reservation – they do
    • tidied up the flat a bit and cleaned it lots in preparation for our house guests – including the horrible black mould that has been accumulating on the bedroom window for four years and that has resulted in us never opening the blind in there a) so we don’t see how horrible it is, and b) so it doesn’t try to ensnare and eat us

    I have also spoken to Mum, and she is feeling quite a bit better today, and certainly sounded better. Her pills have kicked in that help stop her getting too anxious, thank GOD for prescription medication.

    So all in all I have had a Productive and Good Day.

  7. Two days to go

    July 23, 2008 by superlative

    God, I’ve been so busy this last week that I haven’t even had time to write on here. The wedding is now TWO days away, or 52 hours.

    Mum has now kicked into major freak out mode and is stressing to the point that it’s making her ill, so I spent quite a bit of time on the phone to her last night helping to get her grounded again. She’s basically said she’s not going to be at any of the reception now, and will have to eat in her room or something. That’s probably a knee-jerk reaction, because she won’t know how she feels until the actual day and time, but I think she’s basically trying to set me up for a worst case scenario. I’ve already told her I don’t mind, several times in fact, but she still needs constant reassurance. She’s stressing about the journey, about what time to leave, about what food she’ll want and be able to get when she’s here, about the ceremony, about the reception, even about washing her hair before she comes. What can you say to that apart from make soothing noises and mostly useless things like “just try to do one bit at a time”? Her stress and anxiety contributes to her illness more than anything else half the time.

    So anyway, that bummed me out last night and made me feel like I’m not looking forward to the wedding at all, which is really very sad when it’s my wedding day and it’s the only one I’m going to get. Probably, there’s always divorce I suppose, he has got weird feet.

    And then Chris and I had a chat about it, which upset me because I know I’m having an effect on him and his ability to enjoy it all. Although he’s quite resilient and is likely just to say “well I’M going to enjoy myself”. But I do feel like I’m letting him down. He basically tried to remind me that I need to step back from Mum for this, as hard and as unusual as that is for me – otherwise I won’t be able to enjoy it, and I’ll likely regret it. I need to trust my Dad and brother to look after her, but it’s hard because I don’t really trust anyone to do anything; I just want to do everything myself so I know it’s done properly, and more importantly so that I know I’ve done all I can.

    Oh well anyway. It’s Wednesday now, not long to go at all. I’m off work now for two and a half weeks, which is nice, and I’ve been getting on with some of my initial chores from the last stage of wedding preparation. I’ve been to Moss Bros to check my suit fits OK (and in doing so, to check our suits are there and ready), and it does and they are. So that’s good, my pigeon chest isn’t well suited to off-the-peg clothes half the time. I might pop round to the music equipment shop in a minute to ask a couple of contrived and relatively unimportant questions, but which will also allow me to check they haven’t forgotten our booking either. And then I need to blitz the flat so it’s clean for Chris’ cousins, and phone the two hotels in America to make sure they’ve still got our reservations too. So much to do already, and today is meant to be the “slow build up” day!

  8. One week remaining

    July 18, 2008 by superlative

    This time in a week, I should be dancing around my wedding reception. I hope that it’ll be at the end of a nice day where the sun has shone and everyone has arrived on time and it has all generally gone well.

    I’m feeling just about OK about everything at the moment, we’ve done pretty much all we can do this far in advance. Chris is finishing off the music playlist as I’m typing this – I think it should be really good, we’ve got loads of good songs on there. I was surprised how quickly 5 hours gets filled up with relatively few songs, we ended up having to cut loads of stuff out just to keep it down to the amount of time we’ll have. I don’t know yet if I’m actually going to get to dance to all the songs I’ll want to dance to (basically all of them) – I’ll have to choose: either talk to guests, and miss the dancing; or dance and be a bit antisocial. I think Chris has already said to everyone that he’s not planning on talking to people so don’t expect him to, he wants to dance. Which is fine in a way because we’ll hopefully be seeing quite a few people the following day anyway for additional food, drinks and maybe clubbing, so hopefully we can talk to them then.

    Other than the music, there’s really not that many things we can do now. We’ve just got to wait until Wednesday and Thursday when we can start doing things for the actual day. I’m only at work on Monday and Tuesday this week, which is good, but I think I’m going to have a hard time concentrating on my work – I just want to get on with the wedding now.

    And I really ought to start doing some stuff for America now – it’s so unlike me to have thought so little about a holiday when it’s only a week and a bit away! Thank god for the eight hour flight on Monday… I think that’ll be the first time I get to relax from about the previous Wednesday!

  9. 9 days remaining, people

    July 16, 2008 by superlative

    I’m feeling moderately less stressed than I have been at the moment. Chris and I sat down and decided what tasks are going to need doing and when, and then who is going to do what, and that made me feel quite a bit better. I have trouble accepting that I don’t actually need to do everything myself, but once Chris said “well I’m going to do that, and that, and the bridesmaids are doing that bit”, I started to realise that I haven’t actually got loads to do.

    My key tasks are to help set up the room on the day before, sort out our flat for Chris’ cousins to stay in, meet Chris’ cousins and my brother on the day and help them get parked, and help to collect the music equipment. So the only thing I’m doing on the day of the wedding is meeting people and going to the music equipment shop, and then getting myself ready. So that shouldn’t be too bad, surely I can manage that without freaking out??

    I’m a bit worried that I’m going to burst into tears the minute I see Chris at the registry office though… And he’s worried that he’s going to laugh hysterically throughout the whole thing, so we’re going to look like a right pair – me crying, and him laughing at my pain.

    I spoke to Mum last night, and she is obviously getting a little more worried as the day gets closer. She’s worried about the journey down here, and about having enough time to recover from the journey before the ceremony, and then coping with the ceremony, dinner, reception etc. after that. She’s dropped a couple of hints about how she’ll maybe not be at much of the dinner or reception – it’s going to be too noisy and she’ll be worn out from the ceremony. I’ve told her that’s OK, and I guess it is, although obviously in an ideal world where she weren’t ill she’d be there with me for all of it. I’ll be happy if she actually comes at all though, so I’m not setting my sights any higher than that. I just hope that, if she does slip off after the ceremony, she’s not also going to be distraught that she’s missed it all. If she’s upset, I’ll get upset, and I just can’t deal with that.

    That’s life I suppose… things are never simple or perfect, you just have to make the most of it.

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  10. Trying not to count the days

    July 14, 2008 by superlative

    I am trying to avoid reminding myself how many days are now left until the wedding, as I’m not sure it is entirely helpful. But it’s eleven anyway, ELEVEN days, gaaaar!!! That’s nearly into the single digits!

    I would say most stuff is now done, which is good. We bought the gifts for our families at the weekend, and I’m really pleased with what we found for them. I’m not quite sure why they get gifts actually, but apparently they do so they are. They’ve all given us money towards the wedding anyway, so they deserve them just for that.

    I don’t think we’re getting presents for the bridesmaids any more, we didn’t know what to get them anyway. But our best woman deserves something, so we’re hoping to buy something in America as a special thank you. I hope no-one notices we’re not giving them anything on the day though… I’m sure they won’t stand up and demand to know where their presents are.

    Other than buying gifts, we had a nice weekend generally. On Friday we went for leaving drinks with Zac, who is moving to Cambodia in a couple of weeks. It’s sad he’s going actually, particularly as Rob moved away to Sweden last year, it starts to break up some of your circles of friends a bit. I suppose we’ll just have to make an effort to continue to see the friends that we would often only see when we’re out with Rob or Zac or both, you can’t let laziness be the reason that you fall out of touch with people. There was also vague talk in the pub of maybe trying to go to Cambodia next year to visit Zac – I’m not sure if that was just pub talk or if it might actually happen. It would be really exciting to visit somewhere like that, and I suppose having someone to visit makes it more likely than us just randomly going there. We’ll have to see though. What jabs do you need to go to Cambodia anyway??

    And then we also had a nice lunch out on Sunday at the Brunswick, to celebrate the engagement of two more of our friends. Honestly, EVERYONE is getting married. We’ve got three weddings this year (including ours), plus these other friends who are now engaged too. It makes me feel quite old – we are now ‘at that age’ where people settle down and start having babies and things. Still, it’s quite nice really, and I like other people’s babies. Chris’ brother might want children soon after they get married in August, and then I’ll be an uncle, that’d be quite nice.

    So, things remaining to do for the wedding are:

    • sort out the music playlist
    • get some suitable music to play during dinner (classical violin type stuff maybe?)
    • decide who is doing what in terms of setting up the room, collecting hire suits, and all that sort of stuff
    • turn up
    • get married

    So not bad really, that sounds very do-able. Unless I’ve forgotten something huge…

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